Blackjack Players Will No Longer Play it in California Cardrooms Once the Proposed Draft Regulations Pass

The California Bureau of Gambling Control (BGC) is proposing draft rules that will ban local cardrooms from running blackjack-style games.

The California Bureau of Gambling Control (BGC) is proposing draft rules that will ban local cardrooms from running blackjack-style games. It works under Rob Bonta, the state’s Attorney General, and it formed the draft language that also seeks to curb player-dealer position’s rotation.

The regulations state that all blackjack games will be prohibited. The proposed constitutional amendments seek to end the prolonged disagreement between local Native tribes and the state on cardrooms’ traditionally house-banked games.

Jacob Mejia, Pechanga’s Vice President of Public Affairs, stated in a recent media interview that the attorney general’s move to draft the gaming regulations to bar casinos from offering illegal banked games in California. He added that blackjack should be prohibited and Bonta ought to have added other games in the BGC’s draft rules.

Kyle Kirkland, the California Gaming Association’s President, told journalists that the drafted rules are dramatic and would adversely affect many communities and families that solely depend on the cardrooms if they are implemented without any modifications. The BGC disclosed that it is awaiting parties to submit their suggestions by October 26 in writing.

California’s cardroom operators have always given feedback promptly as they defend their table games.

Do Players Have Other Gaming Alternatives?

Proposition A1 (2000) gives Native tribes the mandate to provide house-banked games. Yet, Penal Code 330 bans other operators from providing games comprising a percentage or bank, especially the “game of 21.”

This prompted cardroom operators to collaborate with third-party proposition players to act as the bank in table games. It enables them to run games like ordinary blackjack.

The BGC lets cardrooms offering games labeled “blackjack” to provide them for one more year once the regulations are finalized. Still, the gaming operators need to form a unique blackjack variation with the following characteristics:

  • Exclude a “bust”
  • Award a winner if they tie with a player-dealer
  • Lack a target point count of 21
  • Not award a winner once a player gets an ace with a card with a ten value

Jeff Butler, Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation’s General Counsel, stated that the cardrooms are offering blackjack instead of playing and rotating banked games. This has been the Native tribe’s complaint for a long period, and the proposed regulations will curb the spread of blackjack.

More About Player-Dealer Rotation

California’s Native tribes are concerned about the rotation of players and proposition players at the table. Cardrooms rarely offer rotation since many regular players dread risking on the bank.

Even so, the draft rules need them to rotate the player-dealer position two or more times in 40-minute intervals, or they end the game. This is a different requirement than the BGC’s previous draft regulations in 2019 that required operators to rotate the position after two hands. Mejia stated that the rules will be applicable to all blackjack variations, including baccarat.

The Tribes’ 2023 Gaming Bill Failed

Native tribes presented a constitutional amendment (SB549) in the legislature’s current session urging the state to sue cardrooms offering house-banked games. They have filed many cases against cardroom operators of late. Unfortunately, they fail at the procedural phase.

The tribes wanted the state’s leaders to file a case to end the ongoing gaming dispute. The Assembly Judiciary Committee passed the regulation after holding a hearing. Assemblyman James Ramos, the state Legislature’s only tribal member, stalled the proposed amendment in the Rules Committee. However, he mediated between the cardrooms and tribes several weeks ago to re-create a cardroom expansion moratorium.

Last Updated on by Ryan

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